Electric Current Therapy vs Light Energy Therapy for Pain Relief

People have been seeking pain relief for millennia, and throughout the years many methods have been attempted, tested, developed, compared and subsequently perfected or abandoned. In our day and age there is a wide variety of options to choose from, for those seeking to ease pain due to an injury, or a chronic condition, or acute flare up. We will examine 2 of the more popular non-invasive pain relief technologies.

TENS Technology

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) technology relieves pain by sending low-voltage electric current produced by a small, battery powered device, into the body to stimulate the nerves. The device is usually connected to the skin through 2 or more electrodes placed on or near the locations of the user’s pain. It produces electrical impulses delivered to the affected area, which the user experiences as a tingling sensation. The pulse’s width, frequency, and intensity affect motor contraction in the user.

TENS units may help to treat neck pain, back pain, joint pain, sports pain, and more.

Light Energy Technology

Light Energy technology emits various types of energy, depending on the device. The energy safely penetrates the skin and body tissues at the site of the pain where it stimulates healing, treating the symptoms and causes of the pain while relieving the sensation of pain.

Light therapy for pain can be helpful in treating chronic pain, sports pain, trauma pain and period pain. They may help to treat neck pain, back pain, joint pain, muscle pain, and other types of pain.

Solio Alfa Plus Technology

By combining and synergizing 3 Energies (RF, IR and LLLT) Solio Alfa Plus technology is able to offer pain relief and treatment for a wider variety of pain symptoms and conditions, with each of the 3 energies directed at different depths within the body and offering different healing and pain relief processes.

Radio Frequency (RF) Energy for Pain:

RF current is a log-energy, high-frequency alternating current that has been used for decades in pain treatment. RF energy blocks sensory nerve cells, thereby eliminating or significantly reducing pain. At the same time swelling is neutralized and reduced through increased blood circulation, thereby drawing oxygen and nutrients to the affected area, and collagen production is increased causing the shrinking and tightening of cells which improves joint stability and healing.

Solio’s technology has the great benefits of being non-invasive and painless. It is different than most radiofrequency procedures, especially radiofrequency ablation (RFA), a minimally invasive medical procedure to ablate nerves.

Infrared (IR) Light Energy for Pain:

Infrared light therapy for pain is safe and effective. Infrared light therapy delivered through light emitting diodes (LEDs) speeds up the body’s healing process, and alleviates pain. Infrared has longer wavelengths outside the range of our vision. Although it is invisible to the eye, it is able to penetrate the body’s tissues more than visible light or shorter wavelengths ultraviolet light. By penetrating deeper, it can reach muscles, nerves, cells and tissues where the pain originates. When infrared light therapy reaches body cells, it is absorbed by the mitochondria of the cell. This increases the cell’s metabolism and helps the healing and pain elimination deeper than ever before. Infrared light therapy for pain is dependent on the release of nitric oxide, which promotes blood flow to tissues and increases lymphatic drainage. It has also been shown to facilitate the production of endorphins that can act as pain relievers, together with nitric oxide. Infrared light therapy for pain provides deep heating which creates an optimal healing environment that accelerates tissue regeneration and reduces inflammation, muscle aches, stiffness, and pain. The therapeutic effects may also include muscle relaxation and an improved range of motion.

Dual Optical Energy for Pain:

Dual Optical Energy – the combination of Red Light and Infrared light therapy for pain. Red light therapy works on the red-light frequency and can treat inflammation, such as in sports injuries. Infrared light has longer wavelengths, invisible to the human eye, which penetrate deeper than light on the visible spectrum. The light stimulates the mitochondria in the cells and helps them regenerate faster. This combination enables for surface as well as muscle and joint pain to be treated at the same time, while delivering the healing energies to both surface and internal pains.

Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT, Cold Laser Therapy) Energy for Pain:

Low Level Laser Therapy, also know as Low Level Light Therapy or photobiomodulation (PBM) is light energy for pain. LLLT is a therapeutic light because it is precise, monochromatic (it has single wavelength), coherent and concentrated. It doesn’t have a thermal effect but a photochemical one. LLLT energy emits low level light energy to the affected area activating and generating changes in the cells, such as an increase in protein production which helps to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. It also assists in promoting tissue repair and regeneation, without damaging the cells in any way.

TENS vs Solio Alfa Plus for Pain Relief

Both TENS devices and Solio Alfa Plus are applied at the site of the pain for therapeutic treatment. Solio Alfa Plus is able to reach pain both on the skin surface and deep to the muscle, joint, bone and other soft tissue levels, while TENS electric current affects only the nerves.

Both Solio Alfa Plus and TENS units allow for self-management of pain and are self-administered and easy to use. They have the advantage of being painless and drug free, helping users to eliminate or at least reduce their intake of pain medications.


TENS therapy sends out low voltage electric current to the skin and stimulates the nerves. Since they stimulate the nerves, most TENS units can modulate intensity, frequency, and duration to provide the appropriate level of stimulation. It is believed that the electrical stimulation from the TENS unit to the body interferes with the body’s transmission of pain signals to the the brain, thereby relieving pain.

The Solio Alfa Plus device emits energy that affects pain itself in addition to the underlying cause of the pain, be it in the soft tissues, or bones, or nerves. As a result, Solio does not only eliminate the pain but also treat the cause of the pain for a more permanent solution. Solio’s 3 E-technology uses three energy sources to treat more conditions at the same time.

Safety and Side Effects

Due to the electrical current, TENS devices may not be safe for people who have electrical or metal devices (such as a pacemaker), people who suffer from epilepsy, people with heart problems, or pregnant women. Also TENS is not safe to use on eyes, on the front of the neck, spine, on wounds, over a tumor or malignancy.

Solio Alfa Plus on the other hand is safe to use for everyone because it uses light energy, and has no known side effects.


TENS units have had very mixed reviews on effectiveness. Many studies have determined that TENS machines are not effective at relieving certain types of pain such as neck pain, chronic low back pain, and more. Therefore, there is controversy over which conditions should be treated by TENS. Some people do report electric current therapy is effective for them, but the level and duration of pain relief changes from person to person.

Studies on Solio Alfa Plus’s 3 light energies have shown them to be effective at relieving and treating pain, with the combination of the 3-E providing the best results. Physical therapists and other professionals recommend Solio to their clients, and athletes testify to Solio’s benefits in helping them to gain pain relief and promote healing.

FDA Clearance

There are TENS units that are FDA-cleared, as is Solio Alfa Plus. Solio is the first RF pain management device to be FDA-cleared for pain relief, and it’s the only FDA-cleared home-use device featuring the patented synergy of 3 energy sources to gain pain relief and help the body heal itself.


Electric current therapy and light therapy for pain aim to help people alleviate pain and get help with no medication or need for a prescription. Other forms of therapy, such as medications, steroid injections, and surgery, each come with risks, adverse side effects, and costs. When looking at pain management, particularly chronic pain, the goal is to reduce pain in the most non-invasive way possible, and preferably with non-drug treatments. Electric current therapy and light therapy for pain aim to do that.

Electric current therapy is designed for pain relief and does not treat the cause of pain. Solio Alfa Plus offers RF therapy and light therapy for pain, including infrared light therapy for pain and LLLT. The different energy sources support accelerated healing, with heat and deeper penetration to treat the source of pain, generating more pain relief processes. This way Solio offers a better quality of life for users who suffer pain.

Clinical Studies

Stephen Mulholland MD, Judith Hellman MD, Liora Levi PhD, Diane Irvine Duncan MD “Solio Alfa Plus – A unique solution for wound healing and pain management”

Johnson M, Martinson M (2007). “Efficacy of electrical nerve stimulation for chronic musculoskeletal pain: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials”. Pain.

Nnoaham KE, Kumbang J (2008). Nnoaham, Kelechi E, ed. “Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for chronic pain”. The Cochrane Library

Haldeman S, Carroll L, Cassidy JD, Schubert J, Nygren A (2008). “The Bone and Joint Decade 2000–2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders”. Spine

DeSantana JM, Walsh DM, Vance C, Rakel BA, Sluka KA (December 2008). “Effectiveness of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation for Treatment of Hyperalgesia and Pain”. Curr Rheumatol Rep

Dubinsky RM, Miyasaki J (2009). “Assessment: Efficacy of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation in the treatment of pain in neurologic disorders (an evidence-based review): Report of the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology”. Neurology

Khadilkar A, Odebiyi DO, Brosseau L, Wells GA (2008). Brosseau, Lucie, ed. “Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) versus placebo for chronic low-back pain”. The Cochrane Library

Don‘t let pain hold you back!

Solio Alfa Plus
RF Pain Relief Device

Solio Alfa Plus - Pain Relief Device
Order Now